Penny For Your Thoughts

A couple of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness gameplay trailers have turned up on constantly aptly named GameTrailers. There’s been a bit of latent web-grumbling about the JRPG turn-based action, but I can usually find the upside in these things. My real concern, far from whether turn-based ruckuses will satisfying, is whether it will be funny enough. The comic strip makes me chuckle from time to time, but they’re going to need a lengthy barrage of guffaws to keep us interested in this over several episodes.

Game Trailers, we’d save you on a stormy night.


  1. Schadenfreude says:

    My main interest in this game is as a prelude to Deathspank. Same developers and Ron Gilbert’s involvement. Little worried about the JRPG turn-based nonsense.

  2. Hieremias says:

    Turn-based combat is fine. I’m looking forward to it. The reason we hate jRPGs is because of they’re little more than barely-interactive movies, with idiotic love triangles, androgynous characters, and bizarre hair. PennyArcade will probably contain the latter, but… meh, a different kind of bizarre.

    (I might be using the royal “we” there, unless someone else backs me up.)

  3. Okami says:

    Hieremias: I’m with you on this one. Remember Anachronox? They had JRPG style combat too, with the only difference beeing, that the game was actually good.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, Anachronox is a stone cold classic.

  5. wiper says:

    “Yeah, Anachronox is a stone cold classic.”

    I always wanted to enjoy it, but at the time the demo put me off entirely: I simply couldn’t stand the combat system. If it had avoided combat entirely I’d probably have enjoyed it a lot more.

  6. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    The combat is certainly the weakest aspect of the game, however you do get used to it (or at least tolerate it). It’s definitely worth persevering with to get to the rest of the game though.

    With regards to PAA:OtRSPoD, personally I’m more worried that the game will get tiresome by dint of it being based entirely on Penny Arcade’s schtick. It’s at least looking more promising now than when they released the early WIP footage though.

  7. Bob Arctor says:

    I assume there are people who like Penny Arcade who will buy it though.

  8. No Picnic says:

    I can’t comment on the game, but the subtitle is awesome.

  9. Hieremias says:

    So they’re making a Penny Arcade game which has very little to do with the strip and will invariably include design elements they’d likely bitch and rant against. Hopes run very low for this one.

    Well… how would you make a game that had something to do with the strip? The comic strip is all over the place.

    I think they’re paying less attention to the strip and more attention to Tycho and Gabe’s outspoken opinion of what makes good games. So you’re going to get a goofy, simple action-RPG with a console flavour that doesn’t take itself too seriously–and I’m just guessing on this, probably won’t cost $50. It could work really well, and I haven’t seen anything in the preview movies that would give me cause for concern.

    I mean it might end up being crap, but I’m being optimistic about it. I have more faith in Gabe and Tycho than I do in most of the big game publishers these days. At the very least this game will be original.

  10. Phil says:

    “Idiotic love triangles, androgynous characters, and bizarre hair” all work in JRPGs favour for me – games rarely do kitsch, grandiose and outright insane as well as Final Fantasy and their ilk.

    The ‘semi-interactive’ battle systems in that series, though with nowhere near the depth of your Baldur’s Gates, are also a joy. XII’s system especially, where you soon reach a point that, if you choose to, you could essentially program your party before sitting back and watch them tear gigantic monsters to ribbons, had a wonderfully relaxed vibe to it. You felt more like a coach than anything else, with a similar lack of concern that you weren’t on the pitch yourself.

    Much as I love a good combat system the prospect of a 40 hour Ninja Gaiden or Godhand would be far too much like hard work for my taste.

    For game aiming at character driven comedy with a retro slant, a variation of the ATB system should work perfectly.

  11. malkav11 says:

    To be honest, the setting is a big part of the appeal to me. Steampunk! Yay! But agreed, I’m mildly worried about the humor – I read Penny Arcade mostly for the newsposts…the comics make me smile regularly but rarely cause a fit of the giggles.

  12. Xagarath says:

    There are JRPGs of genuine quality, deoth and atmosphere, they’re just not the final fantasies, dragon quests, and so forth.
    Specifically, I refer to the Shin Megami Tensei games.

  13. Martin says:

    The PA guys are well aware of the not so subtle irony of them doing a video game and getting butt-raped over it by all the journos, reviewers and publications they’ve ridiculed over the years.

    So I’d agree with Hieremias and guess it won’t take itself too serious.

  14. Joonas says:

    I admit to being a PA fanboy, but regardless I wasn’t interested in the game before it took shape. Looking real good, I’m having relatively high hopes for this one.

  15. Cyhwuhx says:

    .::: I’m afraid they are a bit too close to source material for this one. That is, JRPG source-material. That trailer makes combat seem long-winded, slow and boring. Basically something most Square (Enix) JRPGs did wrong after they discovered FMV.

    At least FFVII was backed up by an interesting stat/combat system with Materia, which was almost a form of low-level programming (touched upon again in XII). Other brilliant bits from games such as Chrono Trigger and Xenogears are also a bit lost in the current Square Enix sea. It’s baffling PAA didn’t pick up on this. Combat in JRPG’s is about min/maxing where possible with flair. You enter a battle to get out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    If there isn’t such a system to abuse, you get offline low-level WoW. Which is fine in itself, it just makes for hours and hours of grinding and exchanging blows, only without the online communication, interaction and co-operation with others. It’s a recipe for boredom.

    If that battle-vid is exemplary for PAA‘s combat in general, then I’m afraid I’m going to give this a miss. Despite actually liking JRPGs.

  16. DigitalSignalX says:

    Though it was released for practically every platform -except- PC (grrr), I can’t help but compare this title somewhat to the Simpson’s game. You go into a game like that, fully aware that the game play may suffer some in exchange for all the plot devices and inside jokes related to it’s namesake.

  17. Leeks! says:

    I remember reading a news post about development of the game a while back, when Gabe (I think) was talking about working with Ron Gilbert. Contrary to the tone they sometimes take in their news posts (Assassin’s Creed), he seemed very humble and deferential, and that gave me great hope for the game. And for everything else he is, Jerry Holikins is certainly literate, so I think you could definitely have a worse writer.

  18. Masked Dave says:

    How can people bitch so much about a title they’ve seen nothing about?

  19. Alan Au says:

    Murray: How can you walk around without a brain? Some things no one can answer.

  20. Harry says:

    Looking at the trailer, the combat is just so you have something to click on while reading the witty dialogue?

  21. Kadayi says:

    I wonder if given, they have their comic on Steam now, whether they will be releasing the game through that as well (at least for the PC). I’ll probably give this a try and see how it sits.

  22. Nick says:

    “Well… how would you make a game that had something to do with the strip?”

    Personally, I wouldn’t, it’s a terrible idea.

  23. Anthony Damiani says:

    Yay! Turn based!
    We do NOT have enough of those anymore.

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